AHDB Horticulture Cost: £71,400
Summary: Vegetable brassicas (VB) and oilseed rape (OSR) crops are significantly affected by a range of common diseases. Although lessons learned from one of these two cropping systems can potentially inform development of improved disease forecasts within the other, research into new and improved methods of disease forecasts has usually been done in isolation.
The proposed project will address this fragmentation, develop an integrated approach to disease forecasting, and ultimately produce cost savings in total research expenditure across both the VB and OSR sectors. The project will also contribute towards the eventual goal of the Centre of Crop Health and Protection (CHAP) to develop unified information sources for disease forecasting across the arable and horticultural sectors.
An extensive literature search will identify commonalities and differences between existing forecasting systems for diseases that co-occur on both OSR and VB. Several candidate systems will then be integrated into a generic modelling platform to allow comparison between model performances at common sites. This allows us to quantify the extent to which a model designed for a specific VB can inform management decisions for controlling the same disease infecting OSR and vice versa.
Disease assessment data, spore samples and weather data will be used to test disease forecast models in relation to meteorological conditions for sites where both crops occur in close proximity. The comparison of spore samples at different spatial scales will provide insights into how much forecast performance degrades with distance and the transferability of model outputs from one crop location to another.